Is It right to address a person as Uncle, even though he is not related?

India
July 15, 2009 9:29am CST
It is very common in India these days to refer to people with some 10-15 year diffrence as Uncles and women as Aunties. Is this the most appropriate way to address? Will refering to all and sundries as uncles and aunties spoil the scantity of a relationship? This is only of a recent origin
3 people like this
7 responses
@youless (93535)
• Guangzhou, China
16 Jul 09
How interesting to hear that! I come from China and here it is the same. We will call the people who are older than us over 10 years old as uncles or aunts. This is much more respectable to address others like that. I love China
• India
16 Jul 09
But it is not so pleasant to hear for someone who is 40+.It makes us aware of our age hhehehe. U love China? then i love India even more Thx for ur reply
@daliaj (5689)
• India
16 Jul 09
Yes, it is very common in India. I used to do it when I was a kid, but now kind of stopped doing it. When I was a kid, my parents told me not to call ender people using their names, it is better to call them uncle or aunty because we have to respect elder people. Now a days, I won't call a strangr uncle or aunty. I will address them 'you'. I might call somebody uncle or aunty like my room mates mother and father. I have never met them, but they already know about me and I know about them. I am a good friend of thier daughter. So, I think it is fair to address them uncle and aunty.
@daliaj (5689)
• India
16 Jul 09
Thank you Prakash Uncle for your comments.
@jules67 (2790)
• Philippines
15 Jul 09
It also happens here in the Philippines. They call someone who are unrelated to them as brother and sister, when they are older than them. Personally, I do not like someone calling me sister, especially if the person is not at all related in me.
• India
16 Jul 09
yes all these are the silly creations of the present generation. Only blood related people can sanctify such relationship, while others are meaningless . THX
• Philippines
15 Jul 09
I think it is okay to address them as auntie or uncles as a sign of respect even though you are not related to them. I have been to singapore and they also address the elders as uncle and auntie even if they are not related to them.
• India
16 Jul 09
I would prefer Sir and Madam as a more decent and acceptable form of addressing elders. When words are used without any solid basis or emotional attachment, it losses it meaning and relevance. Thx for ur response
@srganesh (6349)
• India
16 Jul 09
It well started earlier with Brahmins who used to address like that.So,it is not a recent thing as you have stated.I think in all our state languages we have some words to address elders with brother or sister.But this is becoming more common with the matriculation school of education.It is easy to address with uncle and aunty.but I don't find anything serious in it as you are worried.Cheers!
@kevchua (1004)
• Malaysia
16 Jul 09
"Uncle" and "Auntie" are loosely used by younger generations today. In the Asian culture especially the Chinese and Malay, they could use "Uncle" or "Auntie" only if they are related... not only that, these uncles and auntie have their ranks too. So there's a specific name for an uncle who is older than your father, or an aunt who is your mom's second sister. To me, my nephew has to call me "Eldest Uncle" in Chinese. I am sad to say that I was never properly taught how to address my relatives appropriately besides calling them "uncle" and "auntie", so I'm learning how to do it now - at 41 years of age!! Never too late to learn. Traditions have to be kept alive, and it is the parents who are the Keepers of Traditions. If parents do not bother, neither would their children.
• United States
15 Jul 09
It's a cultural thing that varies from country to country. In some countries it's the normal thing, and in others it isn't. In the U.S., as far as my experience goes, you don't call someone aunt or uncle unless they are very close to your family. You wouldn't do that just because they're older. Personally, I would discourage anybody from calling me aunt or auntie. That's just not something I'd care for.